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More detailed show notes coming soon!

This week, we are chatting all about mastery-based grading in skills-based curriculum areas. We’ve got a packed episode where Rachel is reflecting on her thought processes and Katie helps with problem-solving some challenges with mastery-based grading.

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Featured Content

  • Mastery-based scales for skills – easy to understand for students, teachers, and parents
  • Proficiency scales from the book: Going Gradeless by Dave Frangiosa and Elise Burns
  • Start by breaking it down:
    • What are the key skills you want students developing in your course?
    • Break it down – what does it look like for each level of the scale?
    • Consider benchmarks
    • How many levels do you want in your scale?
    • How would this convert into grades? Consider a grade conversion scale
  • Standards-based grading scales – for science it can be tricky because you value both background knowledge AND skills (see Jessica Liew’s episode E084 to learn more)
  • Teasing apart knowledge and skills is challenging – what are you actually assessing?
  • Assessment plan: 
    • Mastery checks for background knowledge only
    • Checkpoints (cumulative quizzes) – both knowledge and skills (problem solving, communication) with re-tests focused on knowledge only
    • Inquiry, design thinking, projects – all skills based scales
    • Skills scales have 3 levels – Got It, Almost, Not Yet
    • Scaffold building of the skills within the assessments themselves
  • Regardless of system, communication is going to be key!
  • Final grades:
    • Percentage of mastery demonstrated of knowledge and skills
    • Skills can be most recent, most consistent – replacing grades in your gradebook
  • Try group moderated grading as you try this out
  • Expect grading conversations to take a long time!
  • I can statements as a checklist for mastery-based grading with space for comments/feedback
  • You don’t have to have all the answers – try, fail, learn, and iterate!

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